Monday, January 7, 2013

Bread rises again

The bread comes out like this every single time.  It's like having a new baby every day.  Pure joy to look at.

As soon as I start making bread, I know my life is back to normal.  I got a new dutch oven for Christmas and along with my older and larger one, I have been making delicious, crusty on the outside and squishy on the inside, bread pretty much every day.  I am basically obsessed.  I also got a bread book that has many more recipes for breads that I would love to try, so I'm going to be experimenting with those if I have enough time during the day.  The great thing about this bread is that it takes almost no time at all.  The night before you want bread, you mix 3 Cups flour, 1 tsp yeast, 1 heaping tsp salt and 2 C warm water in a bowl, cover and let stand for at least 12 hours and not more than 24 hours, preferably less than 18 hours. An hour before you want to bake your bread, warm your dutch oven up in your oven for a half hour at 475.  Let it sit in there for a half hour to get it nice and hot.  While it's warming, pour your bubbling bread mixture out on a well floured countertop and cover with flour for easy handling.  When your dutch oven is hot, carefully take it out of the oven, open the lid and plop in your ball of dough.  Replace the lid and put back into the oven for a half hour with the lid on and then 15 minutes with the lid off at the end.  Every time I take the lid off to see what lie inside, I am astounded at how beautiful it is and it seems like a miracle that it's so delicious and easy at the same time.  This bread is definitely easier than regular bread and doesn't take up a huge chunk of time all at once.  I make this bread every morning and sometimes twice every day because if I'm just home cooking dinner, why not throw in another batch of bread and take it over to neighbors and friends? It's that easy. 
Here's me in my marathon shirt, holding a delicious loaf of bread.  How ironic.  haha.

As well as bread rising again, I have gotten back into my exercise kick since I was knocked down by horrible allergies that I can't believe I've developed after all these years of being allergy free.  I'm almost considering moving to Antarctica just to live allergy free because I almost killed myself this summer because my body was interfering with my big plans!  So, now I'm finally training for the Moab half marathon in March.  I am not a distance runner and I should lose like 10 lbs if I want to be lighter on my feet and actually run this race well, but I'm just not built for it.  My dad and step mother are running it with me as well as a couple friends from my neighborhood and all I can hope is that I keep up with or beat my 57 year old step mother.  I may not even realize that goal.  She's pretty awesome.  Well, I've weighed in around 138 lately and if I can get down to 130 I think running will be easier for me.  Eating all this delicious bread is probably doing nothing for my weight loss goals, but I'm sure I'll get sick of eating it all day long soon and I won't be tempted. 

One of the other reasons I want to get in shape is that Justin and I are going on a sailing trip to the BVI's for our 10 year anniversary the end of February.  I really don't want to take a bunch of fat photos for our trip.  The ones of me in Italy look like I'm overweight, even though I'm really not.  So, fat, please melt away so I can not cringe at my anniversary trip photos!